Well I actually sat down and splashed some paint on some figures yesterday. First time in ages. The photo isn’t supposed to show you any gorgeous work, it’s just to forestall the “pictures or it didn’t happen” comments.
I’ve recently been doing a lot of sorting out of my accumulated books, games, models and so on with a view to getting rid of what I don’t need. Dumped 400 books last week, which meant that the remaining few thousand should fit on the shelves I’ve got. I talked about sorting games out in one of my Ravage articles, and I’ve been doing that too. No bites on games when I offered them to my local club members, so it’s off to Ebay for a whole stack. Even if the games are good, I’m just not able to play everything, so I’m being a bit more realistic about what I’m going to get on the table. Ever.
Well, I’m trying.
Actually, there is a step between deciding that I won’t play and sticking things on Ebay. Most things get pushed through a repurposing filter to see if I can find them another home in something I do play. This both saves money for buying new toys, and also saves time as I don’t have to faff about with Ebay quite as much. it’s also quite liberating as you don’t feel so bad about hacking models up (even if only theoretically) once they’re consigned to the great car boot sale in the sky.
All good so far.
One of the other major things I need to do is get them painted. Having thought about this as I tidied, I realised that I’ve not painted for so long that I’ve forgotten how to do it. Luckily some of the unwanted models can also be used as stunt doubles so that I can make my most egregious painting errors on things that I don’t actually want to keep. It’s less inspiring painting stuff I don’t want, but until I find a style I’m comfortable with and can actually get the effect I want with it, then I might as well avoid any need to use the paint stripper.
So last night’s start was predictably frustrating. One of my old failings was being so subtle that you couldn’t see the result. Looking at the models this morning you’d never guess that each had 4 or 5 coats, shades, washes or whatever. That’s a bad habit I need to lose.
It’s funny because I know a great deal about painting from a technical viewpoint. I’ve even written painting guides in my time. However, knowing it intellectually is not the same as having the experience and muscle memory to put any of it into practice effectively. So I need to spend some hours at the brush, getting at least a basis of that back.
The aim, of course, is to come to some process whereby I can paint the armies I want in a time I can afford to spend and to a standard that makes it worthwhile. If it’s too slow or too rubbish then there’s no incentive. I’m sure there is a way of doing this, and I’m equally sure that it’s just a matter of practice to get there. Making myself wade through the depressingly crap stage is the hardest part.
Wish me luck.